- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Whitefish Bay Dominican junior Diamond Stone is used to opposing teams focusing their game plan against him.

He and the Knights are used to those game plans failing, too.

Stone, a 6-10 forward, had 28 points and 11 rebounds as Dominican claimed its third consecutive WIAA state championship with a 74-50 victory over Blair-Taylor on Saturday in the Division 4 title game at the Kohl Center.

The highly recruited post player drew double and triple teams all night, but he was able to do plenty of damage on his own while his teammates were freed up to inflict their own pain upon the Wildcats.


“When they try and stop Diamond - which every team does; they put two or three guys on him - that actually helps us out. I think that’s good for us,” Knights coach Derek Berger said. “So yeah, you’re stopping him, but he gets everyone else involved.”

Stone added eight blocks for Dominican (25-3), which put the game away by outscoring Blair-Taylor by 14 points in the third quarter.

Senior guard Dalton Soto had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Blair-Taylor (23-4), which fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter but battled back to pull within 30-28 on Simeon Pooler’s 3-pointer with 2:14 left in the second period.

But the Knights scored the final six points of the half, and opened the third quarter on a 13-2 run. After Brett Ladsten hit a jumper for the Wildcats, Stone answered with an emphatic two-handed slam and senior forward Jack Jelacic hit a layup off a behind-the-back bounce pass from Austin Mautry.

Powered by Stone and Jelacic, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds, Dominican enjoyed a 38-10 advantage in points in the paint.

The Wildcats shot just 27 percent for the game, including 24.2 percent in the second half, as Stone’s presence in the lane forced them to attempt some circus-style drives and rushed jumpers.

“It was extremely tough, because however tall he is coming right at you, you’ve got to really float it up there and alternate our shot,” Soto said. “We weren’t really used to it.”

Jelacic, Mautry, Tywon Bressler Jr. and Chris Topp each hit a 3-pointer as the Knights opened up an early 18-6 lead.

Dominican nailed four of its first five shots from beyond the arc - Stone had the only miss - all on kickouts. Topp, who had nine points and nine rebounds, was credited with the assist on three of the early 3s, while Stone fed Topp for one.

“Our center was just going to be velcroed to wherever (Stone) went. We were going to make someone else score,” Blair-Taylor coach Randy Storlie said. “And of course they came out and hit four 3s in the first quarter.”